FOR many couples, a new relationship usually comes with a high sex drive and you cannot get enough of each other. But for Zodwa Mlangeni*, the honeymoon never ended. Instead, a year into her relationship, she finds herself dealing with a peculiar sexual problem. “My man is obsessed with sex,” she complains. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on – work, deadlines, coming back home after a night out, being on my period or even me being tired - he wants it all the time.”
THE LINE BETWEEN NORMAL AND OVERDRIVE
According to social psychologist, Roy Baumeister, it’s expected that your man will have a sex drive higher than yours. Through a study observing sexual habits between males and females, he asserts that men are more sexual than women. “The majority of adult men under 60 think about sex at least once a day. Only about one-quarter of women say they think about it that frequently. As men and women age, each fantasise less, but men still fantasise about twice as often,” he says, adding, “Men want sex more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it and after many years of it.”
LANGUAGE OF INTIMACY
Psychotherapist, Esther Perel, says the reason men seem obsessed with sex is that they experience it differently from women. “For women, it is more about the anticipation and how you get there. It is the longing that is the fuel for desire. Women’s desire is more layered on emotion,” she says. “Men don’t need to have nearly as much imagination. That doesn’t mean men don’t seek intimacy, love and connection in a relationship. They just view the role of sex differently. Women want to talk first, connect first, then have sex. For men, sex is the connection. Sex is the language men use to express their tender loving vulnerable side. It is their language of intimacy.”
Still, there is such a thing as being obsessed with sex. Owen Radian of Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (ATSAC), explains that sexual obsession is an addiction and that like all other types of addition, such as gambling, alcohol or drugs, it is a disease. “It is an increasingly common condition that is destroying lives just like substance addictions do,” he says. “People with low sex drives get addicted to sex too and it’s not just about watching too much porn, it includes any kind of uncontrollable sexual activity such as compulsively engaging in prostitution, social media driven hook-ups, exhibitionism (exposing parts of your body publicly), masturbation, serial affairs and repetitively frequenting sex environments such as strip clubs and sex shops.”
SIGNS THAT HE IS OBSESSED
The following could be signs that he is obsessed:
¦ An unhealthy love of pornography that’s mostly watched in secret.
¦ Many sex addicts still masturbate even after sex.
¦ He’s extremely confident sexually and sometimes slightly aggressive.
¦ He becomes very angry and uptight if you withhold sex when he demands it. * Not her real name